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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:21 am 
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Location: California
In 1974 a half dozen or so of us took our one-speed coaster brake bikes on a challenging, hilly loop on the Thanksgiving holiday which normally features a lot of food. It was one of those things we only planned to do once.

The "Appetite Seminar" as it came to be called, took on a life of its own. At first I promoted it, but 20 years or so ago there was no longer any need for promotion, as hundreds of riders started showing up from all corners of the Bay Area and I didn't want to feel responsible for them.

There can't be any older annual MTB events or any that involve more riders. The ride is tomorrow, but rain will cut the number of riders and it looks threatening.

If it isn't pouring, I'll get you some photos.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:45 am 
East Midlands AEC
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Wish I could be there, but a big stretch of water in the way!


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 Post subject: Great ride!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:25 pm 
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After a rainy night, the day of the ride dawned without a cloud in the sky, the nicest day in a month. The ride goes on in whatever weather, but you have to treasure one like this, on a perfect, crisp fall day with the air washed so clean that visibility was a hundred miles. The rain was not enough to make the road muddy, but enough to make it tacky and traction-perfect for the climbs and the final descent down Repack.

Took me five hours to ride the course, although I probably spent an hour or two of that sitting on hilltops with my friends. I ran into Scot Nicol and Jacquie Phelan, as well as a few dozen other locally notorious mtb friends. Gary Fisher is still out of action with a broken leg, so he didn't make it. Got some photos of retro equipment for you guys.

Got to go to work now, so I'll post photos later.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:41 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:03 pm
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Location: Returning
look forward to it
mike


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:52 pm 
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Here I am with Scot Nicol, sporting my classic Velo Club Tamalpais wool jersey. I had a half dozen comments during the day on my jersey. Since everyone else on the ride passed me, everyone got a look at it.


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 Post subject: Pine Mountain
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:21 am 
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Here are some shots from Pine Mountain.


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File comment: This hilltop is called Smoker's Knoll, and only the locals stop there. When I joined this group a few minutes after I took the photo, I knew everyone in it.
SmokersKnollSmall.jpg
SmokersKnollSmall.jpg [ 76.35 KiB | Viewed 4189 times ]
File comment: Riders gather at the last hilltop before the descent of Pine Mountain. This road descends the other side of the same mountain as Repack, but because it commits the rider to a long climb out of a canyon, it doesn't see nearly as much traffic.

Last year t

PineMountainSmall.jpg
PineMountainSmall.jpg [ 117.42 KiB | Viewed 4189 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:38 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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so hows that part of the world changed over the last 30 years?
that last pic shows a worn trail has it always looked like that?
for me there is an aura of romantiscisam around the "classic" mtb locations. strangley marin seem to have tied these up in their bike names
eldridge grade ,palisades trail, vigilante ridge (not marin) and many
others are they all "malls" now or is that part of the world still as it should
be?
look forward to more pics

mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:59 am 
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mikee wrote:
so hows that part of the world changed over the last 30 years?
that last pic shows a worn trail has it always looked like that?


Since these are primarily fire protection roads, that part has always looked like it does in the photo. A bit further down the hill, the road hadn't been maintained in years, and had devolved into a twisting, steep, slippery foot-wide track over rocks and roots. This past summer it saw some maintenance and now it is not nearly as challenging to ride. Give it a couple of years of winter rain and it will be back to "normal."

On the other side of the mountain, the ride finishes with a run down Repack. Until last year, Repack had become so eroded that just getting from top to bottom was a challenge. Since then it has also been maintained and it is really fast.

Yesterday Repack was in the sweetest condition I can remember. There were at least 700-800 riders ahead of me. The light rain the night before had compacted the clay road surface to tacky perfection, and hundreds of riders had burnished a shiny, foot-wide "groove" in the road that identified the perfect line.

Yesterday was definitely one of the more memorable rides I have been on, a great day, a great route, great company and my bike worked perfectly.


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File comment: Riders gather at the top of the first climb, with Pine Mountain in the background. The route they will follow crosses from right to left across the hillside behind them.
OldYeeForkSmall.jpg
OldYeeForkSmall.jpg [ 209.39 KiB | Viewed 4184 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:07 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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so what sort of folks do you get on these rides?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:32 am 
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mikee wrote:
so what sort of folks do you get on these rides?


All kinds from all over the area. I saw some Latino riders speaking Spanish with each other, and I asked them where they were from. They were from San Jose, about 60 miles from here. I commented that it was a long way to come for a bike ride, and they told me they hadn't missed it for years.

The great thing about this ride is that it is completely spontaneous. There is no announcment. There is no one in charge. There is no start time. There are no t-shirts or water bottles or anyone to give money to.

There are only the date and the traditional route, both known to so many riders that it is all that is necessary. I noticed that the town of Fairfax had put out portable toilets, a nice concession to the hundreds of riders crowding several coffee houses, the only operating buinesses on the holiday. The car park for a closed supermarket provides a base for as many as can park there, and a small coffee gazebo does the most business of any day in the year.

Check out the crowd lined up for coffee.


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